Tis the season to tipple a bit and there’s no better place to meet up with friends than a dive bar. Dive bars in the South Bay have a long history and with San Diego’s craft beer craze in full swing, these establishments cater to all your tastes. Here are my top five favorites:
Ye Olde Plank Inn, 24 Palm Avenue, Imperial Beach: The oldest bar in San Diego, you can play a few rounds of pool or ask the bartender about the legend of the sunken submarine. The place has a pirate feel, but don’t get too caught up in the kitsch. Instead, peruse the old photographs and memorabilia. Huell Howser once did a piece on this historic place.
Machete Beer House, 2325 Highland Ave, National City: Brew Buzz wrote about this place back when it opened in February 2015. Part of the South Bay Rising beer craze, this establishment has 30 beers on tap and hundreds of bottled beers to choose from. Their best picks, in my opinion, come from Baja and Tijuana which is also experiencing a beer renaissance.
All Stars Sports Bar & Grill, 4076 Bonita Road, Bonita: This is where you can get a brew, eat hearty American cuisine and even order a Middle Eastern Hookah. The bar has an enclosed patio where people gather at all hours. Inside, you’ll be able to catch a game or two with friends.
The Manhattan Bar, 400 Broadway, Chula Vista: The San Diego Reader discovered this dive that has existed for the last sixty years. They’ve recently made a transition from being known for cocktails to touting craft beer.
Archway Lounge, 684 Telegraph Canyon Road, Chula Vista: This historic establishment has pool tables, darts and lots of seating. Located next to a dental office and its vineyards, the Archway Lounge opened in February 1968 and once offered Thanksgiving Dinner and double seating capacity.